Some problematic cultural norms have become so commonplace and deeply ingrained that we hardly ever think of them. Moreover, we rarely think of the impact they have on character formation. The values a culture promotes and the behaviors it rewards shape not only individuals but also the society at large. Societies of noble character are built upon people of solid character.
Some narcissists blame to avoid shame. But many narcissists today have no shame. Such narcissists blame only to justify their cruelty and attacks.
Narcissistic insults stem from clashes with reality. Reality sends the message: “You’re not as great or powerful as you think you are.” But grandiose characters don’t take such challenges lying down. They see them as both and affront and an insult. And that’s typically when they unleash their rage.
Narcissists lie not only to others but also to themselves. They lie so freely and egregiously they can start believing their fictions and become delusional.
Abuse victims learn the hard way that interest doesn’t equal regard. Unfortunately, they learn it after they’ve been exploited or mistreated.
Narcissistic bullies act out of a sense of entitlement. And they injure without compunction because they lack shame and empathy.
Manipulative narcissists are covert-aggressors who use various, subtle tactics to charm, disarm, and otherwise take advantage. Playing on your emotions, many find the game of getting the better of you amusing and satisfying. They enjoy “toying” with you.
These days we have all kinds of ways to explain people’s dysfunction. And while there are indeed times when a perfectly healthy person’s biochemistry suddenly and for no apparent reason goes kaflooey, and cases where unpredictable tragedy so traumatizes that it temporarily impairs even the most well-adjusted person, more often, a person’s character not only predisposes the problems they experience in life but also exacerbates those problems when they occur.
Narcissistic grandiosity is mostly a matter of exaggeration – especially exaggerated self-importance and capability. And, when such grandiosity goes unchecked, it can lead to much bigger problems.
At the heart of narcissism of the grandiose type lies a lack of reverence. Reverence for what? Anything or anyone other (or “bigger”) than self. Grandiose narcissists find nothing outside of themselves worth revering, so they have trouble having empathy.